Haiti Cholera Death Toll Passes 250

(Aljazeera) A cholera outbreak in Haiti has now claimed more than 250 lives with cases being reported for the first time in the capital, Port-au-Prince.

The announcement by Haitian health officials on Saturday that five cholera cases had been confirmed in the capital stoked fears that the disease could spread rapidly among hundreds of thousands of survivors of the January 12 earthquake who are sheltered in camps there.

But a high-ranking UN official told Al Jazeera on Sunday he believed the outbreak is coming under control.

Nigel Fisher, the UN deputy special representative for Haiti, said that although 253 people have died, the fatality rate has stabilised and the ratio of deaths to total cases has declined.

But he still emphasised the need to keep Haitians informed about how to prevent the spread of the disease.

"People need to know what to do first of all to protect themselves and to prevent the outbreak," Fisher said. "So messages have gone out ... about the importance of hand washing, boiling water, eating cooked food".